I'm sure I've heard the term "EQ" before but I didn't feel immediately familiar with it. It means, of course, intuitively, something like emotional IQ or emotional intelligence (thus failing as an acronym on the basic level). The first Google result for "high EQ" is a list of signs of high and low EQ. A sampling:
A person with high EQ:
- Does not diguise [sic] thoughts as feelings by the use of "I feel like...." and "I feel that...." sentences.
- Is able to read non-verbal communication.
- Balances feelings with reason, logic, and reality.
- Acts out of desire, not because of duty, guilt, force or obligation.
- Is independent, self-reliant and morally autonomous.
- Is intrinsically motivated.
- Is not motivated by power, wealth, status, fame, or approval.
- Is emotionally resilient.
- Tends to feel optimistic, but is also realistic, and can feel pessimistic at times.
- Does not internalize failure.
- Doesn't take responsibilities for his feelings; but blames you or others for them.
- Can't put together three word sentences starting with "I feel..."
- Can't tell you why she feels the way she does, or can't do it without blaming someone else.
- Attacks, blames, commands, criticizes, interrupts, invalidates, lectures, advises and judges you and others.
- Tries to analyze you, for example when you express your feelings.
- Often begins sentences with "I think you..."
- Sends "you messages" disgused [sic] as "I feel messages" For example, "I feel like you ...."
- Lays guilt trips on you.
- Withholds information about or lies about his feelings. (Emotional dishonesty)
- Carries grudges; is unforgiving.
- Is uncomfortable to be around.
- Is insensitive to your feelings.
- Has no empathy, no compassion.
- Frequently feels inadequate, disappointed, resentful, bitter or victimized.
- Is rigid, inflexible; needs rules and structure to feel secure.
- Is not emotionally available; offers little chance of emotional intimacy.
- Is insecure and defensive and finds it hard to admit mistakes, express remorse, or apologize sincerely.
- Uses his intellect to judge and criticize others without realizing he is feeling superior, judgmental, critical, and without awareness of how his actions impact others' feelings.
- Is a poor listener. Interrupts. Invalidates. Misses the emotions being communicated. Focusses [sic] on "facts" rather than feelings.
Aside from that, and aside from the fact that I'd like to believe I have a high "emotional intelligence," I think a fair number of the bad signs apply to me too. Not all of them, but I do hate apologizing and rarely feel remorse; I'm extremely critical and analytical (see this blog); I carry grudges; I like structure; I've been told I'm not all that emotionally available. But I'm not insecure, I don't lie about my feelings, I don't tend to feel inadequate or victimized, etc. And I have enough friends that I assume I'm not "uncomfortable to be around."
So my question is, is EQ really a thing? If it were a thing, could it change or is it something you're born with? Is it just a way for sensitive, emotional types to feel superior to less emotional/more rational people and/or people who lack social skills? Is it possible to acknowledge the existence of "emotional intelligence" without exhibiting a huge bias toward high EQ? Can low EQ be treated more like a disability, less like a fault? And perhaps most importantly, DO I HAVE A LOW EQ?????